Responsibilities of Seller’s Attorney and Purchaser’s Attorney
Once attorneys have been retained in a real estate transaction, there are specific tasks that are normally completed by each party’s attorney.
The Seller’s attorney is responsible for drafting the initial contract of sale, clearing issues regarding title to the property, preparing the deed and tax documents which must be filed, and ensuring all liens and judgments against the property are paid off. That includes obtaining a payoff from the Seller’s lender. If the transaction is for the sale of cooperative shares, in addition to the payoff, the original stock certificate and proprietary lease, held by the lender as security for the loan, must be brought to the Closing by the lender’s agent.
The Purchaser’s attorney is responsible for reviewing the title report, making sure that title to the property is properly insured, and advising the Purchaser how the purchase balance should be paid. When the transaction involves a condominium or cooperative unit, the Purchaser’s attorney will also review the Offering Plan and financials of the building to determine if there any potential issues that may impact their client.
Both attorneys negotiate the contract terms, discuss those terms with their clients, and explain all documents being signed. At Closing, they will agree to any adjustments to be made for expenses such as property taxes, water and sewer charges and maintenance payments.
As a real estate lawyer in New York, I work closely with my clients to help them negotiate contracts and close their transactions. I represent both purchasers and sellers with single and multi-family properties, co-ops and condominiums throughout New York.
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